There are situations where it’s nice to have some light entertainment but it’s not possible to watch TV. One of those situations is driving. People often listen to the radio on their daily commute to and from work, or when driving for other reasons. It wouldn’t be safe to drive and watch TV at the same time.
Self-driving cars might change that. After all, if you don’t need to pay attention to the road, you can pay attention to a TV. The first self-driving cars will probably expect the “driver” to pay attention, just in case, so watching TV will still be out. But over time, self-driving cars will get smarter and smarter. Eventually, it will be less safe to give humans some control. In fact, the more distracted the passengers are, the better: there’s a lower chance that they’ll do something stupid!
Of course, there are people who listen to the radio besides drivers. I located one survey which found that only about 19% of all radio listening happens in vehicles; most radio listening happens at home or work. Therefore self-driving cars aren’t a big threat to radio.
Photo Credit: 1957 Chevrolet-4 by dok1 on Flickr is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.